When you are injured or seriously ill, your first thought may be to go to the emergency room. This certainly makes sense, but if your condition isn’t life-threatening, you may have a considerably long time to wait before receiving any medical attention. A great alternative to this situation is an urgent care facility.
What is an urgent care facility?
Urgent care facilities offer the same services as your physician as well as some found in an emergency room, such as x-rays. They are equipped to treat minor injuries and illnesses that require medical attention but are not serious enough for the ER. Common conditions treated at urgent care facilities include:
- Minor burns
- Fractures/broken bones
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Sports injuries
- Cold and flu
- Animal bites
- Ear infections
Who can benefit from urgent care facilities?
Anyone who needs urgent care, as long as it isn’t life-threatening, can get help at an urgent care facility. In the cases of such events as heart attack, stroke, knife wounds to the chest, or severed limbs, the emergency room would be required. Patients who do not have insurance can benefit from urgent care facilities as some of these clinics offer payment plans.
Are urgent care facilities as reliable as a hospital emergency room?
The staff of urgent care facilities is highly-qualified and well-trained. They hold the same credentials as any other medical professional who offers care to patients. In addition, urgent care facilities are required to meet or exceed the standards set by the state in terms of patient care and confidentiality of patient information. They keep the same records and comply with the same health care guidelines as do hospitals and larger healthcare facilities. If they recognize a case as more serious and requiring of more treatment than they can offer, urgent care facilities are required to offer a referral to a local emergency room. If severe enough, an ambulance may also be called.
An urgent care facility is a great third option when the doctor’s office is closed, but your condition is not serious enough to get you to the head of the line at the emergency room. Reliable, quality care is provided to fix you up when you most need it.